A Roundabout Way

by DanWolgemuth on July 25, 2014

(As Dan is away from the office, please enjoy this classic Fragment.)

It seems to me that when Jesus taught His disciples an important lesson, He rarely took the shortest route. For instance, in Matthew 16 Jesus warns His followers about the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. It was clear that Jesus was deeply concerned about the doctrinal stance and practical ramifications of these groups’ teachings.

But instead of coming right out and declaring His concern, Jesus took His followers on a trip through the countryside. When the disciples arrived at their destination, they realized they had not packed a lunch.

At this critical moment, Jesus turns the conversation in an unusual direction.

“Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

As the disciples wander through “Betty Crockerland,” wondering if Jesus had enrolled them in a baking class, they finally arrive at His intended destination in verse 12: “Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

How utterly inefficient! What a waste to turn this simple lesson into a group project, yet it is consistent with Jesus’ teaching methods.

Christ communicated His most important lessons — the ones He wanted to embed in the hearts and minds of His followers — in a way that engaged multiple senses. He could have announced: “Pharisees are hypocrites” (Luke 12:1), but instead, He meandered through the educational countryside.

I’m confident that Jesus’ methodology was precise and intentional. He designed His lessons around daily life, so the disciples would have “classroom reminders,” long after they had misplaced their lecture notes. By connecting spiritual lessons to everyday experiences, Jesus provided refresher courses long after He returned to His Father.

From that day forward, every time a disciple walked by a bakery, held a crust of bread in his hand, or witnessed the invisible impact of yeast, he would remember Christ’s message. Jesus knew that the more senses He could engage with His teaching, the more likely the lesson was to connect with His followers.

Real lessons, connected to real life –Theology 101 in The Master’s classroom.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: